Monday, May 7, 2012


My second night dinner was at SRA BUA by KIIN KIIN at the opulent Siam Kempinski Hotel sited adjacent to the lifestyle mall of Siam Paragon. It was within view from my hotel at Novotel Platinum but still I had to take a cab there.

The whole evening, I was blown away from everything including the luxurious grand, elegant and relatively new hotel which opened in 2010, the beautiful and fine dining restaurant with nice ambience of dark wooden decor which also opened the same year, the special molecular gastronomy meal and the impeccable service that if I had an award, I would have immediately handed them the trophy. There will be no surprises if they will receive an international award soon, they surely deserved it. 

As we stepped into the hotel, we were awed by its majestic outfit just like we were stepping into a grand colonial palace of sorts with high ceiling and columns and a vast and spacious lobby with a centrepiece for a huge modern flower decor.

As we walked down a huge columnal long hallway led by one of the staff, we were greeted by wooden panelled walls of Sra Bua by KIIN KIIN on the left.  It's a much talked about Thai food restaurant which serves molecular gastronomy that some may hate it but many would have loved it and I have fallen in love with it.
There are dotted lotus ponds within the restaurant and the serenity and the enlightenment was disturbed by waiters/waitresses busy  in their task.  The restaurant was almost packed that night.

Unknown to us before, we noted that it has won Thailand's BEST Restaurant in Year 2012 by Thailand Tatler for its exceptional cuisine and excellent service.  Yes, I fully agreed that we have tasted  food that our tastebuds have not been challenged before and Yes ! I fully agreed that I was thrilled that the manager, the waiter/waitresses knew the food well when we enquired and they did not hesitate to share with you the ingredients that goes in the cuisine too!  You get much interaction with them as they explained what you are trying.  It was my first time that I get questions in a restaurant like " do you have any allergy to any food" and I was actually threatened in a way in my mind thinking " what do you put in the food that I have to rake my mind " although I have no known dietary concerns before but it was interesting that they do enquire.

This is the second restaurant in a row that I realised that Bangkok famed and popular restaurants on the Thai cuisine front was helmed by chef with a passion to provide the best unique tasting Thai gastronomy in a modern twist despite their western brought up or least to say, not of Thai origin.  It has brought Bangkok up many notches and it's an experience you will remember the city for.

Owner is non other than Henrik Yde-Anderson whose Kiin Kiin Restaurant is not only gourmet restaurant in Conpenhagen Denmark but the ONLY THAI restaurant that was awarded a one Michellin Star. However, whilst we were there Henrik Yde-Anderson was also out of town but nevertheless the food was just as excellent.


Kiin Kiin has received rave reviews and so has Sra Bua which means "Lotus Pond".  Henrik feels the pulse of Bangkok that he has to open a Thai restaurant on the home ground where all ingredients are freshly available.  Both Henrik and Treetawachaiwong were invited to open a restaurant in Bangkok following Kiin Kiin's success and everything clicked.

We had:
BATH 1800 ++ per person (about SGD80)
We opted for a set menu of 6 servings and every single plate was delightful and the modern Thai cusine with traditional flavour and taste brought forth a myriads of sweet, sour, spicy and unique "POP ROCK"
sensation to our meal.  It was a meal that tease your tastebud and experience in everyway.

First introduction:
Cool Tea of lemongrass and pandan flavour
Served in NIKKO fine bone crockeries from Japan. This was refreshingly nice.

We start the dinner with:
The Tomato Mayonnaise dipping was wonderful, very nicely concocted
The thinly sliced Fried Lotus Root was nice to nibble
The Soy Meringue was uniquely flavourful that I did not capture the soya sauce taste, a basic ingredient that elevates the dish to something exquisite.
The Fish Cracker ends the nibbling

Next we had:
The Street Food
All small bites on sticks and presented like science lab test tubes
Prawn Bread Sesame though nice was normal, I have done this at home
The Smoked Sausage with unusual combination of cured pickle creates a new taste but both can blend
Thai ingredients comes into play with an art piece of Crispy Pork Skin Crackling
which stood on a base of very tasty NamPrikNom chilli paste.
The spoonful of Mian Som Or Pomelo Salad and Tuna Tartare burst forth a sweetish hot flavour.  You might just swallow it but on closer look, you see the refined garnishing created like a flower.  Appreciate your food, take a look before you put in your mouth.

For the starter, we opted from the five starters available:
Gang Dang Frozen Red Curry with Lobster and Lychee
This is where you find bubble in molecular gastronomy in play.  And if the plot is not enough, the waitress came by for the dry ice effect creating a visually interesting meal.
Crispy Fish with Green Mango and Soft Nam Jin
The crispy fish dish is accompanied by nice flavourful sauce.  The green roll was like a pith but actually a thinly slice green mango that was rolled up.  The browned stripes which is tasty is actually lemon grass.

For main dish with rice, we had:
Quail in coconut milk with Chanterelle and Crispy Skin
Braised Veal Shank with Grilled Cabbage and Emulsified Soy 

Finally the dessert,
Mango with Sticky Rice
Mangosteen Sorbet and Fresh Mangosteen
They had introduced "POP" effect with pop rock within the sorbet and you hear the "popping" bursting in your mouth whilst you savour the sorbet! very interesting indeed!

And I thought that was the final fantasy but they brought in the:
Mignardises (tiny bite size desserts served at the end of the meal)

My impression:
I had the best meal with so much teasing of the tastebud during the 2 odd hours dinner, all basic food ingredients from Thailand but so much to offer.  I am overwhelmed by their dedication on every food item to bring perfection  in every aspect of dining.  It was worth the experience dining here, something unique, controversial as it is not the way you have been fed and brought up with, interesting, and a harmonised blending of different flavours from basic ingredients that you are accustomed to individually but in a different taste from the original food flavour.  You may call it fusion but it's not as it's Thai cuisine presented in a modern way.

Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, 1/F Siam Kempinski,
991/9 Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
+ 66(0) 2 162 9000
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